Brexit: Ministers preparing for fresh battle as EU withdrawal bill returns to the Commons

Brexit: Ministers preparing for fresh battle as EU withdrawal bill returns to the Commons

Ministers are trying to see off a potential rebellion from Tory backbench MPs

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Preparations are being made for a new battle in the House of Commons after pro-EU MPs vowed to ensure a “truly meaningful vote” on any final Brexit deal.

The vow came ahead of the return of the EU Withdrawal bill – which will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and facilitate the transfer of EU legislation onto the British statute book – to the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Reports suggest the Government could be handed its first major defeat on the bill, with around 20 Tory backbenchers indicating they would support an amendment tabled by Dominic Grieve.

The change to the bill brought forward by the former attorney general would require the Government to approve a final EU deal with a separate act of Parliament.

Ministers attempted to head off the battle by saying it would accept changes to the wording, which would give MPs greater oversight.

They are expected to say the amendment tabled by Grieve is unnecessary because lawmakers have already been granted a vote on a separate ‘Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill’, which will include key parts of the final Brexit deal including citizens’ rights and the so-called 'divorce bill.'